It’s almost that time of year again, a time when the smell of sizzling hamburgers and hotdogs fills the air in back yards and parks throughout America. A time when friends and family gather to eat, gossip, share stories and watch the night skies explode with fiery-colored lights. Yes, it’s almost the Fourth of July.
And to celebrate (and because we’re an energy company), we thought we’d take a few minutes to show you some ways to add a little green to your red, white and blue. Here are four easy ways to make your July Fourth a little greener this year.
- Take it outside. If you’re already planning a cookout this Independence Day, then you’re off to a great start on cutting your energy use. Firing up the grill is an easy energy saver because you won’t be using electricity to cook (if you’re not on natural gas), and your A/C won’t have to work overtime trying to cool your kitchen.
Also, consider what you’re cooking with. Charcoal is fine. But if you want to be really green, try switching to propane or natural gas grills—both are clean burning and put less contaminants into the air.
Or go all out and get yourself a solar grill. These handy inventions use the sun’s rays to cook your food.
- An explosive idea. In the grand scheme of environmental pollution, fireworks play a pretty small role—but a part nonetheless. If you’re purchasing your own fireworks this year, go for the environmentally friendly types. Traditional fireworks, however awesome, contribute to our air and water problems. “Green” fireworks use a nitrogen-based fuel that burns much cleaner. They’re not 100% green, but they’re friendlier to Mother Nature.
- Don’t bug out. Biting and swarming insects can be more than annoying. They can be downright dangerous. And even though they fill an important natural niche, it’s good to keep them at bay.
Unfortunately, many standard insect repellants are full of chemicals that may be bad for kids, pets, wildlife and even the soil. But there are a few eco-friendly bug repellants out there. So try some when you’re outdoors this July Fourth, and keep bug free while feeling good about being so green.
- Ditch the paper and plastic. Disposable plates, cups and utensils sure make cleanups easy after big holiday get-togethers. Some of those plastic items can be recycled, though experts say only about 10% of the plastic sent in actually gets recycled. And forget about recycling paper plates. Most are covered in a thin wax coating—not to mention whatever food they made contact with—and can’t be recycled. Most of that just ends up in the landfill, especially since China (where we sent a lot of our recyclables) banned certain waste products from the U.S. in 2018. This year, try using dishes and utensils you can wash and reuse, even if they’re plastic.
Remember, even small actions make a difference. We hope these tips help you do just that. From all of us here at Infinite Energy, have a safe and happy July Fourth.